- 1 You Are Sending a Message
- 2 Style Guide
- 3 The Pinkie or little Finger
- 4 The Ring Finger
- 5 The Middle Finger
- 6 The Pointer Finger
- 7 The Thumb
- 8 Less Is More
- 9 Proportions
- 10 Different Types of Rings
- 11 How to Buy a Ring
- 12 Thank You for Reading
If you found this article, I am going to go ahead assume that you are a man interested in wearing a ring. Sound reasonable enough. Rings are stylish, and they give the wearer an allure of power and confidence, but -don’t tell me- there is something holding you back. The two obstacles that stand in the way of men and their ring wearing desires are ‘rings are feminine,’ and ‘who is he trying to impress.
There is no denying, in most cultures, rings are more common on the slender fingers of woman, complete with diamonds and sparkling metals. Does this mean that rings are now in the exclusive domain of the female? No. I assure you that not only can a man wear a ring, but they can wear one while keeping their masculinity in check.
You Are Sending a Message
When you wear your ring you are sending a message. I can imagine you snickers as you think ‘yeah you are sending a message allright,’ but come off it. No one is going to think you are homosexual for wearing a ring and all they can do it ask. I am talking about how historically, rings were worn to show a man’s wealth and position in society. Times have changed, cultures have mixed and now rings mean something different to everyone. This is important to remember. Rings are worn in a prominent position on your hands. People will see them, and they will pass judgment. Men who want to wear rings are at the mercy of people’s prejudice when wearing rings.
Tip: You might want to slip them off when you are at a job interview, or meeting a girlfriend’s parents. Hopefully people will be open minded, but we all pass judgements, and rings can result in you being pigeon holed into certain stereotypes. Now that my little disclaimer is out of the way, it is time to look at how to wear rings properly.
Confidence is Key
You need to wear your rings with confidence and conviction. You have heard that 75% of communication is non-verbal? Is it? I don’t know. The point is that people pick up on body language. We can tell when someone feels out of sorts, and we might not even realize it is because of the jewellery they are wearing, but we will still think differently about a ring on the finger of a confident man.
I believe that the first step to wearing a ring with confidence is education. Good thing you are reading a guide about wearing rings, aye? Knowing how to wear a ring, will let you feel more comfortable when you take it out on the town. If you are wearing a family crest or a symbolic ring Learn the history and meaning behind it. It can be a great conversation starter, and if you can come across as confident, when asked about it, people will see your ring in a whole new light.
Want to pull off a ring? Only you know what will gel with your personality, lifestyle, hand size, and skin tone, but this advice will help you hit the ground running.
Where to Wear Your Ring
There are no iron clad rules about where you should and shouldn’t wear your ring. There used to be. It was once forbidden for people of lower birth to wear rings on their index finger, because it was for the family crests of the upper class. In recent times, people have done a lot of mingling, and different cultures have mashed together. Because of this you can’t really assume that a ring means anything anymore Si entiendo? In a diverse society anything really goes. People will make judgements based on their own upbringing. I will go through each finger, the symbolism and history behind wearing rings on each finger. At the very least, this will make you more interesting at dinner parties.
The Pinkie or little Finger
If you wear a ring on the pinkie finger there aren’t many cultural connotations. For this reason, rings that show self-expression are often worn on this finger. Rings on the pinkie finger have an association with organised crime. The Mafia wore pinkie finger rings, and television shows have made this common knowledge. In parts of Europe the pinkie was reserved for a signet ring. The ring symbolised family and status. On top of this signet ring, a wedding band was common, but this practice fell out of favour in the early 20th century.
Rings for the pinkie finger are smaller and as a result cheaper. You might want to look into a pinkie finger ring, if you don’t have the savings or commitment for a bigger ring. Aesthetically, pinkie rings can look really nice. On the pinkie they are far away from potential wedding bands, and because of its smaller size it won’t draw that much attention. It is far away from wedding bands and doesn’t look cluttered.
The Ring Finger
This finger is traditionally reserved for a wedding or engagement ring. Depending on the culture and religion of the wearer a wedding ring is worn on either the right or the left hand. As an example, men married in the Eastern Orthodox Church will often wear their wedding ring on their right hand, as will men from Denmark, Norway, Russia, Poland, and Bulgaria. In some cultures, wearing a ring has no meaning, and it is just considered normally to display wealth on your hands. Left handed people often wear their rings with mirrored meaning to a right handed person. You see culture mixing and stuff, assuming nothing. Some men wear engagement rings on the opposite to the wedding ring. While there is some variation, if you want that pretty girl, at the bar, to talk to you,it is probably a good idea to wear your expressive ring on another finger.
Because most men opt for simple band rings, if you get something a little flashier, it is far less likely to be taken as a wedding band.
The Middle Finger
The middle finger is big and bulky. It has connotations of being central and balanced. A man who wears a ring on this finger is comfortable and powerful. Surprisingly, very few people choose middle finger rings. This is probably because, you need a much larger ring to accommodate this finger, and it can get in the way. It is a very masculine finger to wear a ring on, and no one is going to mistake it for a wedding band. Not to mention you can flip people off in style.
it is best to get a simple ring for this finger. Simple dark and grey materials are very common. Silver and gold aren’t bands are also worn on the middle finger because they aren’t likely to be confused for a marriage band. If you are going to get something with a gem, don’t have it protrude far from the ring. This is a rule of thumb for all masculine rings, but it is especially true for the middle finger. Find a ring where the gem is nestled in the ring and it spreads out rather than up.
The Pointer Finger
This is traditionally a common place for signets and family crests and over time this tradition was adopted by clubs and fraternities. It is the belonging finger. Wearing a ring on the pointer finger sends a message that you are part of a collective.
We use this finger the most, and a ring on this finger is going to catch a lot of eyes and attention. You want to think carefully about what you put on it for practical reasons. A bulky pointer finger ring will scratch car door handles and chip glasses, if you are not careful. I don’t want to put you off wearing a ring on this finger. It has desirable connotations of confidence, power, and leadership.
Rings on the thumb are extremely rare in western culture. If you are the kind of guy who likes to do things a little differently, then maybe a thumb ring is for you. In other parts of the world thumb rings are quite common. They are used to show of wealth, and you don’t have to scratch your head to work out why. Thumb rings are massive. “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” – Oscar Wilde. The thumb is associated with character. A straight thumb means that you are a good and honest person, while a crocked thumb means that you are a twisted, dishonest soul.
While male rings tend to be simple, the thumb ring is the exception. It is common for it to hold a large jewel or stone. This stone won’t protrude far from the ring, like we see with feminine rings, but it will be spread out hugging the band. Men that want to wear more than one ring often choose a thumb ring. It is far away from the other fingers, and this space helps to keep your hands from looking cluttered. If you are already wearing a wedding band, or a pinkie ring.
Less Is More
Male rings tend to be simple and out of the way. A single band of gold or silver is, what I like to call, the entry level ring. It is nothing flashy, you aren’t pushing boundaries, but it is sophisticated. This kind of ring compliments a nice fancy shirt. You know the type with buttons.
Offset Rings with Other Jewellery
You have two hands yeah? Well you need to spread your jewellery out to avoid clutter. Don’t wear a watch and two rings all on the same hand. You need to move them about so there isn’t too much going on. If your ring matches your watch, fantastic, place that ring on your left. When you go to purchase your ring, wear your watch and or wedding ring to see how it looks all together.
I find that the exception to this rule is wearing two or more very similar rings next to one another. I have seen this done with gold rings, and I think it looks great. The secret though is keeping all these rings very simple. More than one ring on the same finger is difficult to pull off. It can be done, but you might need Vouge designer status to get away with it.
How Can You Build Up the Confidence?
If you have just inherited a ring or you just bought it home from the store it can be daunting to wear it out to the bar this coming Friday. A little technique I picked up is you slowly faze it into you routine. First you wear it by yourself. If you are staying at home, watching Star Wars movies back to back, and there is no one around, put the ring on. Then wear it around your friends and family. These people have already made up their mind about you, and you are comfortable around them. It is going to be accepted in this environment. Once you are comfortable wear it to the shops and then you will have the confidence to wear it out.
If you have large hands, wear a large ring. If you have small hands, wear a small ring. It is that simple. Anything else will look a bit funny and over accentuate the size of your hands. Large hands are a desired, masculine feature, so if you have smaller hands, wearing a larger ring can make your small hands stand out. A smaller ring can put them into proportion. This can be difficult for class rings and association rings, as they tend to be on the larger size. If you are being handed down a family crest you also have no control over the sizing of the ring. A quick fix is moving it on to a bigger finger of your thumb. If it is meant to be worn on the index move it up to the middle. Take the ring to a jeweller and see what your options are for resizing it. I understand if this is something you don’t want to do to a family heirloom. Sometimes we just have to accept that we can’t make a certain ring work and consider other options.
Different Types of Rings
While woman’s rings can all be placed into several clearly defined families, male rings are not as easily categorised. The information is out there; it is just really difficult to find and there are a lot of rings that you won’t be able to label.
Cultural and Religious Rings
Wedding rings are by far the most popular in this category, but men will also wear rings to show affiliate to a church or as a form of worship to a deity. Simple rings with crosses, are very common for Christians. In the Islamic faith there are even rules about what stones or gems you can and can’t wear and Men are prohibited to wear gold. Just another example of how long men have been wearing rings for.
These are the rings that symbolise belonging. Freemasons, graduates of Harvard, and military men, all wear rings that recognise their achievements of affiliation in these collectives. These are rings wore by men of pride and as a result they tend to be big and decorative. These rings are easier to justify and get away with in western culture, because we respect people’s achievements and understand pride better than expression.
These rings are often passed down from generation to generation. They will often have a family crest, or symbol. These rings can mean a lot to the men that wear them. They are not as common outside of Europe.
How to Buy a Ring
You can head down to a local jewellery store, or you can choose from the near endless online catalogues. If you are going online, I recommend that you do some instore research first. You need to see options. If this is your first ring, you don’t know what you like yet. Go bother some jewellers. Ask them to get all the rings you like out of the glass cases and try them on. Really refine your tastes and get a good idea of what you like. Take your time. Some men have an inbuilt mechanism that prohibits them from taking up people’s time unless they are sure they are going to buy something. Ignore it and further impose yourself upon them by asking them to fit you and determine your size.
Look in antique store. These rings come with their own history, and if you ask, you will be surprised by what you might learn. Antique rings can be a lot cheaper, and they can also be a lot more expensive than a jewellery shop. It puts a little bit of adventure into finding your ring.
There are a number of different materials that you can get a ring in. Gold, silver, diamond and titanium, are the standards. If you are a bit heavy in the pockets, you can look at platinum rings. What we are really talking about here is colour. You need to be aware of your skin tone and have that play into the material you choose. I recommend finding a jeweller with natural lighting, just to play around with the different materials, even if you have no intention of buying one of their rings. In the bright white lights of malls our skin looks a lot lighter than it is, and if you don’t factor this into your decision, you might leave the shop with the wrong ring.
I don’t want you to settle for your second or third choice to save a couple of hundred dollars. Think about how long you are going to have that ring. Unless you lose it, which you shouldn’t because it is on your finger, you will have it potentially for the rest of your life. Divided how long you expect to live by the difference in cost, and you see that you are talking about a few cents a day. A crude way of thinking about it, I know. More importantly, if you don’t get the ring you really wanted you might never wear it and then you have wasted every dollar you spent on it. Save up and go for your first choice.
Thank You for Reading
I can’t stress enough that the importance is confidence. Reading about rings is how you can build up your confidence but if you want to pull a ring off you need to believe in it. You will face prejudice, and there are times when you will need to remove your rings to avoid them, but a ring can be a powerful piece of jewellery if worn correctly. I hope that the information here has helped you. Please share this article, so it can do that same for others